As if suffering from hearing loss wasn’t frustrating enough, now you have to sift through endless choices to determine the best hearing aids. There are literally thousands of hearing aids available, each claiming to be the best hearing aids available. Not to worry, though. We’ll give you the low-down on what’s what in the world of hearing aids. It all basically boils down to three different styles of hearing aids:
Behind the Ear Models
This is one of the best models for children with hearing problems. They are the most powerful, have the longest battery life, and are less difficult to adjust the volume. They are typically larger than other styles; the exception to this is the open fit model. The open fit model is better suited to people with hearing loss affecting only their ability to hear high frequencies. With both behind the ear types, the base goes behind the person’s ear. Sound travels through a tube and inside a mold specifically designed for the wearer’s ear canal.
In the Ear Models
For people who don’t mind the hearing aid going in their ear, but don’t want it going into the canal, here are the best hearing aids for you. In the ear models are relatively large (like behind the ear models). Its size lets manufacturers add on accessories like directional microphones or a telephone switch. These models are easy to put in and take out.
In the Canal Models
In the canal hearing aids, as the name implies, go into the ear canal itself. Some of them, called completely in the canal, go all the way in, while regular in the canal hearing aids only go part of the way in. Both are small and are designed to be discrete. They are custom fit by an audiologist. While they are more expensive, and while it is harder to change the battery or adjust the volume, they provide a nice option to those who don’t want others to readily notice their hearing problem.
The Bottom Line…What’s the Best Hearing Aid?
Which of these is best? It depends on what your primary goal is. If you’re looking for a cost-effective, easy to operate hearing aid, you’ll likely prefer either the in the ear or behind the ear style. If you’re more interested in a more expensive, but more transparent and less cumbersome hearing aid, you’ll be turned on by the sleek design of in the canal models. Before buying any hearing aid, be sure to visit an audiologist, who can recommend a model that best suits your lifestyle. They can also offer alternatives, such as cochlear implants and bone conduction implants.